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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

MARXIST   HISTORY

The severest criticisms of the kind of history which
Marxists write, then, have reference to things which are
separable from the Marxian method itself, and which
are caught rather from the spirit and the atmosphere in
which this historical method has so far developed.
The faults are often capable of correction within the
system itself and it is curious to note that the Soviet
historian Pokrovsky argued against the excessive resort
to economic interpretation; then, at a later date, Stalin
complained that Pokrovsky himself, in turn, had re-
presented too direct a use of the economic interpretation.
It is not mere political prejudice, however, that has
hardened our minds against Marxist history* We know
that when Marxism is at its worst it will even seek to
explain anything or everything in the seventeenth
century by direct reference to the economic conditions
of the same century. In any case, the relations between
economic factors and cultural or religious life at any
given moment in the history of the world are a subject
for actual research. It would be nonsense to have a
so-called interpretation of history which prejudged the
precise and concrete things which are the very subject
of historical enquiry. When the Marxists appear at
their most disarming, and admit that, up to date, their
writing of history has come far short of the subtlety of
thek theoretical assertions, we must take care not to be
deluded by them—they are only too happy to say that
the Gospel is better than the men who follow it. The
truth is that, if they lived up to the elasticity of thek
principles, as expounded by thek more refined inter-
preters, the form and structure of thek historical narrative

E.H.R.                          97                               G